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Sidecar arrangement with crib & bed

I am expecting our first chld in July and am starting to assemble the necessary equipment. Due to safety concerns already discussed with my midwife and doula, we will not be able to have our baby sleep between us on our bed, but we would like to enable co-sleeping by having a crib set up as a "sidecar" to our bed, fastened securely to our bedframe with the drop-side of the crib removed.
I'm looking for information on the relative safety and practicality of this situation. It will be possible to arrange the FURNITURE so that it works, but I haven't bought the crib yet so I am hoping for some advice about what to look for in a crib. We want to use a crib because it is larger and will last longer than the Arm's Reach Co-sleeper or a bassinette (no point in buying something that only works for a year then needs upgrading/replacing, when I hope to have this baby sleeping next to me for many more than that!)
Who has done this type of arrangement? Do you have any practical tips you can provide?
(Please don't reply with discussions of whether we should have the child in our bed with us. I am not prepared to discuss details but that has been ruled out after considerable research and soulsearching. I would love to do it, but it is not feasible in our unique circumstances - please accept my decision and respect it).

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here is how we have done it!
hope this helps

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Um ok here's another question... is it hard to get out of bed to go pee in the middle of the night with a sidecar attached? Of course i pee three or four times a night right now, being 29w pregnant, but even before I got pregnant I had to get up at least once a night to pee. I usually do it in a semi-sleepwalking way that allows me to fall back to sleep again the minute my head hits the pillow! I just wonder, with the sidecar there how do I get out??

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We've had our Arm's Reach co-sleeper set up for 3 1/2 years. As far as getting out of bed - I scootch down a little bit, then put my feet down... trying not to step on the dog who needs to sleep as close as possible to me, too :lol
My older DS took a nap in the co-sleeper today, but that's the first time he's slept in it in months. He moved into a futon in the bedroom next door almost a year ago. His head and toes touch the ends
DS1 is pretty tall and I don't really feel we outgrew it. It worked for us for him to move into his own room at just over 2 1/2.
Anyhoo, I like having the boys in the co-sleeper to give me a little more space and comfort to sleep. I raised the 'mattress' up with a 4" piece of foam so it's the same level as my bed, I lean in to nurse, then go back to my 'space'.
We started teaching the boys how to climb out of bed safely when they started crawling.
Ds1 just showed up, gonna go give DH a hand getting him back to bed. Good luck!

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We just took down one side of the crib and butted it against our bed, but I like the PP suggestion better! We also have ours raised up with memory foam under the mattress so it's even with our bed.
Honestly, once you set it up you can totally make it work, even before the baby arrives. Just fiddle around a bit and you'll get an idea, each crib and bed set-up is different so it's hard to explain!
With a sidecar and getting up, I usually just get out at the foot of the bed or the other side if dh or dd1 isn't in bed yet. My 3 year old climbs in and out all night with no problem! ;)

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Well, we have a side-carred crib and uh... mostly its unused. It does however make me not worry about DS falling off the bed at night (not that hes EVER come anywhere close to...). DS generally won't tolerate sleeping in the crib (even though es all of 15" away from me..) for more than 1 hr at a time - wakes up screaming, I pull him close.
I don't like to let DS sleep between me adn DH though (I like to cuddle w/ DH still!!), as I'm worried about DH rolling ontop of DS (and as before, I'm protective of *my* cuddling rights:)... or thats my exuse anyhow;) SO yeah...
EDIT as for setup, the crib's pushed against our bed and the wall (so tisnt goin nowhere), and raised up so its level w/ our bed, w/ density foam on the far side to keep it in place... I think I've got pics somewhere... I'll look and see :)

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We just set our sidecar crib up on Mother's Day :loveeyes: and I LOVE it!! I have some ?s though--
--where does your DC nap? DD is 5 months. I feel ok about having her nap in her crib (as she's done for awhile now) but when she gets more mobile, I worry about her crawling to our bed & falling! :o We might get a video monitor...
--what do you use to "line" the crib mattress/bed mattress so there's no seam for baby to get stuck in? Right now we just butt our Humanity Cosleeper pillow bolster b/w me and the crib--it's like a soft 4th wall.
--how long did this arrangement work for you? Did you switch to a twin bed "sidecar" at some point?
TIA!

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Um ok here's another question... is it hard to get out of bed to go pee in the middle of the night with a sidecar attached? Of course i pee three or four times a night right now, being 29w pregnant, but even before I got pregnant I had to get up at least once a night to pee. I usually do it in a semi-sleepwalking way that allows me to fall back to sleep again the minute my head hits the pillow! I just wonder, with the sidecar there how do I get out?? is ours. DH so it wouldn't move away from our bed. You just scoot off the end of the bed to get up. I have been doing it 6 months pregnant and although I grunt and groan a lot it isn't that difficult.

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Do all cribs work equally well for sidecarring, or is there a particular model that works especially well?

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We just set our sidecar crib up on Mother's Day :loveeyes: and I LOVE it!! I have some ?s though--
--where does your DC nap? DD is 5 months. I feel ok about having her nap in her crib (as she's done for awhile now) but when she gets more mobile, I worry about her crawling to our bed & falling! :o We might get a video monitor...
--what do you use to "line" the crib mattress/bed mattress so there's no seam for baby to get stuck in? Right now we just butt our Humanity Cosleeper pillow bolster b/w me and the crib--it's like a soft 4th wall.
--how long did this arrangement work for you? Did you switch to a twin bed "sidecar" at some point?
TIA! My DDs have always napped on the bed itself, since we're not all crammed in there together I give them the whole bed for a bit. ;) I put the pillows around the edges of the bed so my babies can't crawl out, and once they're old enough to crawl over, they're old enough to learn to crawl down. Even at 14 months I line the edges with pillows for my DD2 because she has a tendency to sleep-crawl. :D
Do you mean the teeny crack between the bed and the crib? There really isn't any in ours, maybe 1/16 inch or something. Less than there would be along the sides of the mattress if it were contained within the crib! We scoot it over every day. We put a body pillow between the crib mattress and the crib itself, to make sure there's no place to fall there.
We didn't use the sidecar set-up for my first DD, but it's still working for my DD2, and DD1 sometimes likes to sleep in the crib she can sneak in it while I'm asleep, and she's 3!

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Well, we have a side-carred crib and uh... mostly its unused. It does however make me not worry about DS falling off the bed at night (not that hes EVER come anywhere close to...). DS generally won't tolerate sleeping in the crib (even though es all of 15" away from me..) for more than 1 hr at a time - wakes up screaming, I pull him close.
I don't like to let DS sleep between me adn DH though (I like to cuddle w/ DH still!!), as I'm worried about DH rolling ontop of DS (and as before, I'm protective of *my* cuddling rights:)... or thats my exuse anyhow;) SO yeah...
EDIT as for setup, the crib's pushed against our bed and the wall (so tisnt goin nowhere), and raised up so its level w/ our bed, w/ density foam on the far side to keep it in place... I think I've got pics somewhere... I'll look and see :) :yeah: All of it. (Except dd, not ds. ;))
Here is our crib (yet notice where dd is sleeping :lol)



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We used an "arms reach co-sleeper" and loved it. I will say though, that it was hard for me to nurse my son while he was in it. Mostly he slept in bed with us at night and used the co-sleeper for naps. Worth the money, because you can also use it as a travel crib.

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Here's our arrangement...when DD is in her "bed" by herself we use a huge roll/body pillow to block the 4th side of the crib.



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We sidecarred our crib using josh&davesmomme's website as a guide. It's an awesome setup, we all love it. It seems that it would be easiest to do with a "convertible" crib that can be turned into a toddler bed. That's what we have.
We did use an Arm's Reach co-sleeper until my son was 4 months old and we also liked that very much. I think an Arm's Reach is a nice starter option for new co-sleepers.

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I honestly don't know if there is a model that is better than another. We have a 3-in-1 type we bought at Wal-Mart, I don't remember the exact model (we bought it 5 years ago!). It converts between a crib and a toddler bed with transitional rails.
We too just have the crib against the wall with the bed pushed up against it so neither are going anywhere. I haven't had a problem with any kind of a gap between the mattress until recently, so now I am going to be adding the bungee cords as a PP suggested.
As for getting out in the middle of the night, it takes a little practice. I just slide out the bottom of the bed. After doing it for almost 5 years, its become second nature. Wonder if I will remember how to do it normally when its time to take the crib down? :lol

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here is how we have done it!
hope this helps We used these instructions, and it turned out great! We really love the setup, especially considering that we only have a full size bed, and me and DP are full sized people! :lol We don't have the crib up against the wall, though. The crib is between our bed and a chest of drawers, which itself is up against the wall. We used four bungee cords to secure the crib frame to our bed frame.
As for what brand of furniture, both our bed and our crib are from Ikea. Our crib does not have drop sides, so we just took one side off completely. For naps, at the moment I just put DS on our bed to nap, because he can not roll from back to front yet. Once he is more mobile, we are going to set up our Pack 'n Play in the living room.
There are a few pictures of our setup .


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